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  1. Business

Tampa Bay adds fifth-highest number of construction jobs

Tampa Bay added the fifth-highest number of construction jobs of any metro area between August 2016 and August 2017. According to analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America, the region saw a jump of 7,400 new jobs over that period — a 10 percent bump.

Over the same period, 274 out of 358 metro areas added construction positions, while the remaining 52 lost jobs. Despite that growth, many firms still face a shortage of construction workers, mirroring the national dearth.

"Workforce shortages have the potential to undermine broader economic growth by slowing construction schedules and inflating costs, among other potential impacts," association spokesman Brian Turmail said in a release.

He attributed the gap to a lack of "public investments in career and technical education." The association called for greater funding for such trade education and charter and trade schools that specifically focus on construction.

"Unless we can find a way to encourage more young adults to pursue high-paying careers in construction, contractors in Florida and across the country will face significant workforce shortages," Turmail said.